Once again my disdain for the media, especially television news has been given fertile soil to grow in. Since I've long since written television news off I don't watch it anymore. However tonight I was at the health club on the elliptical stepper. Since I was there for 25 minutes with nothing much to hold my attention but the tv in front of the place while I tried to sweat my way to better health or a heart attack, I ended up watching nearly a half hour of MSNBC. Apparently Pope John Paul II is near death, and for the time I watched, all they did was talk about how he could pass away at any time. They actually said "We can't tell you not to leave your television, but it could happen at any time.." You could practically hear the anchor salivating with the thought of being able to report that the pontiff had died. They would talk for awhile about what the Pope had accomplished in his life, and then talk about if it would all be for nothing once he died, then return to shots from outside the Papal Apartments and muse about if the lights being out in the Pope's bedroom meant he was already dead. It was all thoroughly disgusting. Is it so important they be able to report the exact moment the Pope dies, will the media feeding frenzy be any less intense if they don't get to report it until 15 minutes later. God forbid he should shuffle loose the mortal coil during a commercial, what would they do then? Can you imagine having to choose between being the first to be able to announce his death, or keeping the sponsors that finance this drivel happy?
I have no real opinion about the Pope, I'm not a terribly religious person, and definitely not a Catholic. But he was a great and influential man that seems to have lived a good life, can't he be left to die in peace with a modicum of respect?. Do we really need continuous media coverage to make sure that we don't miss the moment of his passing?
To me its just one more example of the complete lack of decency and discretion of the broadcast media. As for the Pope, I hope his passing is peaceful and he finds heaven in the afterlife. I hope that in the end people will remember more about how the man lived than how he died.